Rural Transformation is amongst six priority areas identified for support from the European Commission in the fight against poverty. As rural development is inherently multi-dimensional it demands continuous cooperation and coordination among all Government Ministries and statutory bodies involved in rural development. In 2008, the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines (GoSVG) approved the Strategic Plan for Rural Development (2008-2020).
Undisbursed STABEX funds to St.Vincent and the Grenadines from previous projects was programmed under the budget support modality in a single FMO. This Budget Support FMO was concluded between the EC and the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines on October 29th, 2008 and its implementation was completed on December 31, 2010. The total funds available under this FMO amounted to Euro 15,006,933.
Under this programme the Ministry of Rural Transformation (the Ministry responsible for rural development at the time) built its capacity through training and guidance provided by technical assistance provided to the Ministry over a nine month period. The Ministry also piloted an integrated community-based development planning approach project in Sandy Bay and Chateaubelair; this approach will also be rolled out in several communities over the medium term. A review mechanism for monitoring of the Action Plan for Rural Development was established and is currently used to monitor the progress of the implementation of the Action Plan. This Plan is steadily implemented and its progress can also be followed in “Word ah Mouth” a newsletter disseminated by the GoSVG as a means of promoting rural development.
While the FMO for Rural Development has ended the implementation of the Strategic Plan is ongoing and is currently managed under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation.